Our faculty

Dr. Ruairidh J.Brown


Head of Politics and International Relations

Born in the Scottish Highlands, Ruairidh first completed his BA(Hons) in Scottish History and Politics at the University of Stirling. He moved to the University of St Andrews for his postgraduate studies in International Political Theory in 2012,  receiving the St Andrews School of International Relations Scholarship in 2013 and graduating with his PhD in 2017. 

Ruairidh initially taught politics, philosophy, and history in Scotland whilst completing his PhD. After graduation he took up a position in mainland China, where he was primarily tasked with introducing predominantly mainland Chinese students to a ‘western’ style university education. Ruairidh was awarded the University of Nottingham’s  Lord Dearing Award for his success in this endeavor in 2019. Teaching in China also gave Ruairidh a great opportunity to explore and travel, including volunteering in a panda conservation center and teaching young monks in a Nepalese Monastery. He also in this time became a fellow with the Higher Education Academy. 

Ruairidh joined Forward College in 2021 and has since taught International Political Theory and International Relations at Forward’s Lisbon campus. 

Research Interests

  • Phenomenology and Hermeneutics 
  • Existentialism 
  • The Philosophy of Amity and Friendship 
  • The Philosophy of Obligation 
  • Developments in International Political Theory 

Current teaching

  • IR1198 International Relations: theories, Concepts and Debates
  • PS1130 International Political Thought 

Select Publications

  • Books 

Brown R.J. (2022), COVID-19 and International Political Theory: Assessing the Potential for Normative Shift, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan

Brown R.J. (2019), Political Encounters: A Hermeneutical Inquiry into the Situation of Political Obligation, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan

  • Peer Reviewed Articles

Smith N.R. and Brown R.J. (2021), ‘Neither a New Cold War nor a New Peloponnesian War: The Emerging Cyber-narrative Competition at the Heart of Sino-American Relations’, Vestnik RUDN. International Relations 21 (2) pp.252-264

Brown R.J. (2020), ‘Friendship and the State: Friendship as an analogy for Political Obligation’, AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies, 6(1) pp. 3-30

  • Peer Reviewed Book Chapters 

Brown R.J. (2022), ‘Travels in a Haunted House: Rational Curiosities and Overlapping Dichotomies in Duncan McPherson’s MD account of the ‘Chinese Expedition’ of 1840-2’ (in) Mueller C. and Salonia M. Travel Writings on Asia: Curiosities, Identities, and Knowledge Across the East c. 1200 to the Present, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan 

Brown R.J. (2020), ‘Political Obligation: The Party’s 19th Congress and China’s State-Society Relations in the New Era’, (in) Pavlicevic D. and Zhengxu W. (eds.) Change and Continuity in Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era’, London: Routledge

  • Op Eds and Short Articles 

Brown R.J. (2022), ‘Conservative leadership hopefuls should listen to Hobbes regarding Scotland’, The Loop, Hobbes on Scotland and the future Conservative leader – The Loop (ecpr.eu)

Brown R.J. (2022), ‘St Augustine in the Anthropocene’, The Loop, St Augustine in the Anthropocene – The Loop (ecpr.eu)

Brown R.J. and Smith N.R (2021), ‘How Britain’s CGTN ban shows Western insecurity over China’s rise’, South China Morning Post, How Britain’s CGTN ban shows Western insecurity over China’s rise | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)

Brown R.J. (2020), ‘China: victory over coronavirus will be heralded as boost for Xi Jinping’s brand of Marxism’, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/china-victory-over-coronavirus-will-be-heralded-as-boost-for-xi-jinpings-brand-of-marxism-136347

  • Book Reviews 

Brown R.J. (2018), ‘Review: ‘The Essential Leviathan”, Hobbes Studies, vol.31, issue 1

  • Conference Presentations, Participation, and Invited Talks 

‘How to tell the world about your research: blogs and blogging with The Loop’, European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, August 2022

‘The Sublime Magic of the Mountains: A Hermeneutic Uncovering of Mountains and Mountain Literature’, Association for Philosophy and Literature Conference – Nature: Animal, Moral, Technological, Banff, Canada, May 2022 

‘Philosophising After Truth: Reflecting on the Nature and Purpose of Political Philosophy in the Age of Post-Truth’, XXIV World Congress in Philosophy, , Beijing, August 2018

Any inquiries from prospective students about admissions, applications, tuition fees, programmes, student life should be directed to the Forward College team at info@forward-college.eu.